There are few thoughts more sickening as a business owner than that of arriving at your premises only to find them billowing with smoke or left in a giant, smouldering mess.
Fire destroys lives, businesses and careers, and when it takes place as the result of arson, the feeling of loss is even harder to come to terms with.
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do as a business owner to protect your business from arson, and we’d like to take this opportunity to list a few of the most important.
Make fire vigilance a company mantra
Everyone within the business should be highly vigilant when it comes to protecting the building from arson attacks.
Suspicious behaviour should be reported and any unexpected visitors’ reasons for being on site fully investigated.
Don’t skimp on fire safety checks
Your fire alarm should be tested every six months, but don’t forget the emergency lighting within your premises (that’ll need regular testing, as well).
Skimping on fire safety checks will not only result in the business falling foul of regulations, it’ll also put it at a much higher risk of suffering badly from arson attacks.
Lock away all flammable materials
Whether it be rubbish or materials used to create products, you need to ensure they’re locked away until required.
A pile of cardboard boxes left haphazardly at the entrance, or discarded product materials left piling out of rubbish bins in the back yard will be prime targets for arsonists.
Keep it hidden!
Ensure windows remain locked when the premises are unoccupied
A closed window isn’t enough to deter someone who fancies setting alight to your business.
Make sure staff are aware that every window and door needs to be locked whenever the last person leaves.
It’s also worth considering installing metal letterbox containers that will prevent people attempting to start fires via that method.
Ensure key holders are aware of their responsibilities
We alluded to this above, but anyone who is tasked with locking up the building at the end of a working day (or night) has to be ultra vigilant.
Beyond locking windows and doors, they should perform extra safety checks to ensure there are no flammable materials in sight and that there isn’t any suspicious activity taking place within the grounds.
Most importantly, it should be made clear that these people must always seek help from the authorities if they spot something concerning; the police and fire services are far better versed at tackling such activity.
Once a luxury, CCTV is now a default safety application for businesses of all sizes.
The technology has come on leaps and bounds, too, which has in turn reduced the cost required to implement a capable CCTV system.
If you can, try and opt for one that enables remote access to cameras, so that stakeholders within the business can tune in if suspicious activity is reported outside of working hours.
The above strategies aren’t foolproof, nor will they guarantee that your business won’t be subjected to an arson attack, but they will give you the peace of mind that you’re doing all you can to protect your staff and the organisation’s most valuable asset.